Programming note: his will be your last weekend for quite a while without my Internet words ruining your Saturday. Enjoy it.
- Linebackers preview.
- Observations from Ohio State's students practice.
- The most dangerous defenders on the docket.
- Preseason roundtable, featuring me.
- Ohio State announces some non-conference opponents.
Word of the Day: Fecund.
FINISHING THE RACE. Ryan Day's in a bit of a conundrum with Justin Fields at the helm in Columbus.
On one hand, he's extremely shifty, has 4.4 (allegedly) speed and is built like a running back from the waist down. On the other, Ohio State's national title hopes essentially end if he goes down with any sort of extended injury.
If you think that's going to lead to a more pocket-passing quarterback, I'll gladly wager my hard-earned dollars against your hard earned dollars that he finishes this season with at least 150 rushing attempts – but he knows he's gotta be safe about it.
From Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com:
But as the starting quarterback at Ohio State ...
“I just have to be smarter,” Fields interjected.
So he will run. I’ve written at least twice before on Fields’ running ability and have been focused on it since he arrived. It has been such a part of what successful Ohio State quarterbacks have done, until Dwayne Haskins last year. I continue to think the Buckeyes will need the threat of Fields on called runs and scrambles.
Fields said that it’s difficult to work on getting down and avoiding hits during preseason camp, when the defense can’t hit him anyway. But he knows the deal.
“When the season comes, it’s just sliding and making smart decisions when those times come,” Fields said. “It’s gonna be a change for me, because last year I was trying to get everything and trying to make a play on every play. So I definitely have to be smarter this year."
Spoken like a starting quarterback who has to stay that way.
My plan is to just have all the games wrapped up by halftime so we can hand things over to Chris "The Dragunov" Chugunov to close things out. You can't get injured if you're holding a clipboard.
HAFLEY KNOWS BEST. These Skull Sessions are basically just a Jeff Hafley fan blog now, and if y'all have a problem with that, the door is that there "x" in the corner of your web browser.
For those of you still with me – and maybe not completely against handing him a lifetime contract before he's even coached a game – here's the incredible story of how he found and recruited Dion Lewis to Pitt.
One of my favorite Work Ethic stories of all time. So cool to see how it has paid off for @OhioStateFB new Co-Defensive Coordinator @CoachJeffHafley @DionLewisRB #dothework #teamworkethic pic.twitter.com/PJHbSmhNey— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) August 22, 2019
So what I'm gathering here is that Ohio State's entire running back recruiting situation can be solved if we just give Jeff Hafley a few weeks and trust that whichever two or three-star player he brings back will be better than Tony Dorsett.
I mean, I'm down to give it a try, at this point.
IT'S JUST SAD NOW. Last year, Charles Woodson delivered an emphatic guarantee that Michigan would beat Ohio State in 2018.
Michigan decidedly did not beat Ohio State in 2019, but Woodson ain't closing up his seer shop – he's got at least one more bold prediction.
Only this year's version isn't really enraging, it's just... sad. It's much less of an emphatic and confident prediction and much more of a "please God, I can't do this anymore" sort of desperate plea to a higher deity to finally end his suffering.
From Ryan Zuke of MLive.com:
"It better be," Woodson said at his launch party for his new wine collection called, 'Charles Woodson Intercept.' "I’ve waited long enough. I know all the fans and students here waited long enough. Players within the last 15 years, they’ve waited long enough.
"We’ve been too close. Last year I feel like was an anomaly. That wasn’t indicative of who we are and how hard we work at winning football games, so I’m looking forward to this year because I think this will be the one."
“My prediction is that we go undefeated,” he said. “We make it to the playoffs, we win the championship. Bam, that’s it, you heard it here first.”
That first part is almost tough to read. "It better be. I've waited long enough." Woodson was the villain of villains when I was growing up. Seeing him talk like this is like Batman watching the Joker get dementia.
But that ain't going to stop me from flaming him online. Charles, buddy, I think you may need a refresher on what the word "anomaly" means.
Your team has lost 14 of the last 15 meetings. The anomaly is the lone game your team actually won in that span against one of the worst Ohio State teams of all time under an interim head coach. That flaying your team took this year – that's actually just remarkably consistent with the past 15 years.
ALL THE WAY LAID BACK. After seven years of one of the most intense individuals on the planet leading the Buckeyes, it's hilarious to see that pendulum swing all the way in the other direction with Ryan Day, who seems to be one of the most laid back coaches in college football.
"I'm chillin', it's fine" are words Urban Meyer could not even fathom uttering minutes before a high-caliber road night game, yet it's what Ryan Day's tombstone should read.
It's hard to deny Meyer's results, but I wouldn't hate it if Day had similar results with the world's most low-key approach to coaching.
“SORRY I WRECKED PRACTICE.” I live for the days Joey Bosa is mic'd up in practice, because he sounds exactly how you'd expect him to sound – dry, slow, lazy, yet absolutely hilarious.
The Chargers did the world a great service in that regard this week, giving us some delightful practice soundbytes from the elder Bosa.
DO YOU REAAAAAD— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) August 22, 2019
Joey mic'd up is everything pic.twitter.com/SyDObkEcSX
"That's bad, for you guys," absolutely killed me.
I know his humor is almost certainly an acquired taste, but I urge you all to acquire it. Because this is fantastic.
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